OBJECTIVES: We report the data from the Italian Survey on trans-septal catheterization (TSP-C) for catheter ablation of arrhythmias in the left heart that covered 2003 and previous years. BACKGROUND: Over the last decade the use of TSP-C in the electrophysiology laboratory has greatly increased. Recent data on number of procedures, accomplishment rate, and complications related to this procedure are lacking in a large cohort of patients. METHODS: Thirty-three centers participated in the survey. The data collected retrospectively for 2003 included the number of procedures, indications, methods, and the number and reason for unaccomplished cases along with complications. Retrospective data collected for previous years included the annual number of procedures and cumulative data concerning indications, accomplishments, and complications. RESULTS: Since 1992, 5,520 TSP-C procedures were used in arrhythmia ablation, with the peak increase in the use occurring in 2001. Trans-septal catheterization was performed for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation in 78.3% of the procedures in 2003. The electrophysiologist independently performed the procedure in 29 of 33 centers. Trans-septal catheterization was successfully performed in 99.1% of the cases; the main reason for TSP-C not being performed was related to fossa ovalis/atrial septum anatomy. Complications were low both in 2003 and in the previous years (0.79% and 0.74%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Trans-septal catheterization in the electrophysiology laboratory is associated with a high success and low complication rate. The use of TSP-C has progressively increased over the last decade and is currently used primarily for AF ablation. Although possible, severe complications were rare.
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